Sunday, December 21, 2008

Back from the Dead...

So I've apparently dropped off of the face of the earth this past month, but I am still alive and I apologize for the silence here.

In any case the semester has wrapped up, and I'd like to take a minute to ask you to join me in praising God for what he's done this past month. And what a month it has been!

The Lord has been blessing Justin and I's Bible study on the floor with not only 3 guys who profess to be Christians, but also 2 guys who are not Christians (yet, Lord willing!). We've been diving into the Gospel of Mark, and some of the discussion especially with our two friends have been amazing. Please be praying for the work God's doing in their heart, that they may become Christians!

Also amazing has been that our one friend has been discussing Tim Keller's new book “The Reason for God” with us and we've been able to discuss many of the questions that skeptics of Christianity have often raised. But more importantly this has been a bridge to dive further in to the Scriptures with our friend and get to talk more about who God is, what he's up to in the world, and especially the good news that Jesus brings. And our friend has just been drinking it in and is so eager to hear more about Jesus. So again please continue to pray!

Also God has just been doing awesome things at DCF and in the other Biblestudies. The Lord is bringing others, even foreign exchange students from China, to know him and his Word. Other exciting developments have been seeing how God has been knitting the hearts together of our Leadership and Executive teams to love Christ, his Word and each other more! The relationships God has been building at my church and in DM at Penn State have been so amazing and it moves me to tears to see what God is doing to make his bride, the church, beautiful by his grace.

Tune in the rest of this week for updates on what God's been doing in my own life personally this past month as I'm no longer in school and cannot use school work as an excuse to not write!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pray for Students!


A quick post between classes: DM is having a conference for students coming up this weekend. Many students who are not Christians will get to hear the Gospel very clearly articulated and others will be hearing it to encourage them on to know the Lord more.

Please be praying that God would work in everyone's hearts, especially the students who are coming to learn more about Christianity. Also be praying that students wouldn't just get "Christian Camp/Conference High", but that God would bring them to good local churches back home and that they also get involved on campus with other student believers.

May God do great things for His glory!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

God Does the Work


I realize that I've been on a bit of a blogging hiatus for the past few weeks here. It's been a bit busy, but God's been doing cool things.

I wanted to let you all know about and ask for prayer for is one guy that lives on our floor. Out of the blue one day, he came up to Justin and I in the commons and asked if we were still doing a Bible study in our room and if he could join. We said we'd be glad to have him and he showed up this Thursday with a friend!

So God has now brought a guy to our study who approached US about the study and he brought a friend even! Man God is doing crazy things.

It gets even more amazing when he said that he'd wanted to learn about the Bible for quite a while, but didn't want to study it on his own because he wouldn't have help. So apparently God's been working on him for sometime.

What's more amazing is that when we asked him about going to a DM student conference in a few weeks to do a track about the basics and big questions about Christianity with me he said he'd love to do it!

So God's doing something crazy and please be praying for this student and his friend, that God would continue to be working on his heart to show him his need and how great Jesus is. Also be praying that they'd be desirous to go to this conference with us, where they can be exposed to other godly men and women, get to be our friends more and hear the Gospel clearly articulated in love.

Thank you for your prayers and to God alone be the glory!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


As I mentioned in my previous post, I was going to challenge our core guys tonight to do some more prep for our study next week and hopefully see them want to dive more into the text.

But God's funny and we changed plans.

Tonight we had 3 new guys come to the study effectively doubling the size of the guys not on staff or living in 908 Tener Hall! So in light of that God doubled the number of guys coming we decided to hold off and challenge them next week so that all of the new guys don't get hit with a challenge on their first night.

Please be praying for these new guys that they too would thirst to know Jesus!

Stepping it up!

Tonight you can be praying for the Bible study my roommate Justin and I have on our floor. We've now got a core group of guys that have been consistently attending and we want to encourage them to go even deeper into the text.

It's not a big challenge, just that they would read the text before coming to the study next week and each write one question about the text that they want to discuss as a group. But our prayer is that these guys would just thirst for the Word and to know Jesus through it.

So please be praying for these men that that would thirst and that they would know that they need a great Physician! (That's the passage we're doing tonight!)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Law and Obedience

Mark Altrogge has a really great short reflection today on the blessings and curses found in Deuteronomy 27 and 28. (Check it out here.) I would really recommend reading it and it caused me to think about how my own knowledge of God doesn't drive me to obedience everyday, but that the grace of Christ instead is teaching me everyday to obey for His glory and my joy.

It also reminded me of this poem by John Bunyan;

Run, John, run, the law commands
But gives us neither feet nor hands,
Far better news the gospel brings:
It bids us fly and gives us wings.

(HT: Mark Fodale and John Piper)

Friday, September 19, 2008

God's Purpose in Physical Healing

On Wednesday night we had just an amazing Evangelistic Bible study. We were taking a gander at Mark 2:1-12 and in it there's just the crazy story of Jesus who heals that paralytic guy who was lowered through the roof (or "ruff" for those of you from the Midwest). You've probably, like me, heard it many times since way back in Sunday School. Normally I just left it there as just a great story about Jesus' ability to heal sickness and faith. But Wednesday I realized that there is just so much more to this story than that!

After telling how these 4 dudes come and lower the paralytic man through the roof, Mark relates how Jesus looked up, saw their faith and then in vs. 5, said "My son, your sins are forgiven." (ESV) Sins are forgiven, what's with that? These guys came for healing not forgiveness of sins. But then as soon as Jesus says this the nearby Pharisees start to question him, IN THEIR MINDS, and think about how this power to forgive sins only belongs to God.

And here's the amazing part, Jesus turns addresses their thought questions, and then says "'But that you may know that the Son of Man has the authority on earth to forgive sins'-he said to the paralytic-'I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.'" (Mk. 2:10-11, ESV)

Jesus heals the man to show as literally walking proof to the world that he has power and authority (see also vs 8-9) to forgive sins, demonstrating his deity!

And so how does this relate to today? Well assuming that God is still in control of the universe, that means that he's also the one, while not physically present in Jesus, giving healing and controlling healing processes in every sick and sore person on the planet. That includes every single patient a doctor may ever see. But from a doctor's standpoint, if he realizes that it's God, not his skills and medicine per se, that ultimately gives healing, every single doctor has a wide open door to be an evangelist to point to healing and disease and showcase God's glory and sovereignty!

So my question is, do we actively look around and see sickness and healing as ways that God is demonstrating his power and authority to not only heal and fix, but also to forgive? Do we make the tie between control over the physical to control over the spiritual too?

Pretty deep thoughts, but that's totally awesome that while I'm not Jesus being to use healing to show my divinity, I could still later in my career use healing to point to God's provision, control and character!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Internship Reflection #4: The God Who Provides

One of the biggest impacts of the internship on myself over the summer was how I saw God shape my view of Him. But before going more into that, first some background on myself:

I'm a chronic worrier. In my life anything can become something for me to fret and mull over continually. Usually, however, I'm not aware of anything big going on in my life, and this probably doesn't come across in my everyday speech or actions. However, when something remains on my back-burner simmering long enough, I'll all of a sudden realize that something in my life is boiling over and the world begins to end.

So now back to what went on during the internship. The situation that had been simmering for months was a lack of progress on my medical school application. I had been taking care of business with the application (MCAT taken: check; MCAT scores: pending; Science Prof letters of evaluation: check; online application: started), but I had been just unable to get a single non-science professor to write a letter of recommendation for me. And it wasn't that I wasn't making calls or emails; I was just wasn't even getting any responses to anything to even ask a non-science professor to write a letter!

As the summer began to wear on I began to realize that if I didn't have a letter of recommendation in, a whole domino effect would happen to slow up the other parts of the application. I then realized that it would literally be a miracle for me to have an application together in time for October.

That realization then hit me like a flood along with other worries about Medical school in general and I literally worried myself sick over this. In the middle of that period then, the Lord began to show me that in my worrying the thing that was lacking, was any thought to how God was in control of my life and how He's the provider for all of my needs. Key in that was seeing how he always keeps his promises as I was seeing in Hebrews 6.

Not that things changed in the twinkling of an eye, but I was able to realize that in the end God really was the one in control, and that He always in every case has our best interest in mind, even if we don't think it's for our best interest.

While the application process is still ongoing, friends I want to urge you to praise our God! For in spite of all of the unanswered voice mails, emails, etc. to faculty members, the Lord in His sovereignty placed not one, but two of my favorite non-science faculty into my life at bizarre places (the street by Panera and Hershey park of all places!). And both were happy to write letters for me.

So what's the point of me telling you about this? Is this just going to be a cool story about God fulfilling my need, like a get out of jail free card? I pray not, because friends in all of this God was using the adversity to show that as the Proverbs say "The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory belongs to the Lord." (Pr. 20:31, ESV) and our God truly is our Father who in Christ loved us, adopted us, and is giving us every good thing, for His glory and our joy in seeing Him glorified! (Romans 8 is just too long to quote here :) but I'd point you to that too! )

Praise God for He is a loving Father who has adopted us in Christ, and in the end provides for every single need to His glory!

Praying to Know Christ

Last night my good friend Joel, gave a whopper of a talk on the prayers of Paul in the book of Ephesians. (I would encourage you to listen to it as well!)

But one thought that I took away from it is: How are our prayers shaped around knowing the love of Christ no matter what the situation and that others would know Him and His love in Christ as well?

Do we see God as a magical Santa in the sky to grant all of our wishes, or is He so much more than that? Is He our Father who knows us, cares about us, allows us to communicate with Him and calls us to know His love through Christ more intimately?

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Totally Wrong Team

Sitting in a meeting last night, I was reflecting on the wonder of God's choice. As I looked around I saw broken and weak individuals who I love dearly as my brothers and sisters, but we were in the wrong situation.

We were in a meeting praying to our Lord and strategically looking forward to how we can be more effective in our work for the Lord to reach University Park. However, the more I studied my brothers and sisters and myself, I realized that we are most certainly not the A-Team. We're all weak, we all struggle with emotions, weariness, faithlessness, and yet this is the team that God has called together.

And more so there I was sitting there too and having no clue why God would call me to help lead these leaders. What in the world was God thinking!??!

But then my dear brother reminded us that: "But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; god chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chosewhat is low and espised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, SO THAT (emphasis added) no human being might boast in the presence of God." (1 Cor. 27-30, ESV)

Brothers and sisters, we are not God's A-team. We are weak, emotional, frail, but God chose us because that's what we are. And so we can strive boldly for our Lord trusting him for the results, because that's where the results come from in the first place!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Internship Reflection #3: Relationships for His Glory

During that "quiet" period before the onslaught of freshman began we had several sign up tables around the parts of campus that were open to see what upperclassmen might be interested in learning more about Jesus.

At one of these tables we met a young man, who at his first interaction with us appeared very uninterested in discussing the Bible or our group, citing that he didn't believe in a creator of the universe who rules everything, etc. However, as we continued to converse with him he was at least open to coming and visiting our group because we were open to him coming even if he disagreed with us.

And the miracle is that this young man has continued to show up at many of our events and build relationships with all of us. Most notably on one instance he said, unsolicited, to a friend of his outside of the group that all of his friends were in our group. My dear brother and roommate Jason Knox has already blogged more extensively about his interactions with this friend of ours. When asked about what has struck him about what we say about Jesus was that, He will never leave us or abandon us. Oh brothers and sisters that this young man would know Jesus in such a way!

As of today this guy is still not a brother in our Lord, and we've continued to challenge him about why he does not believe. He continues to be very frank about his issues and why he does not believe, continues to show up and continues to be open to our relationships with him. So please be praying for this friend of ours. The Lord's using our relationships with him to get to know him better and know his disagreements, but please be praying that these relationships would also be used for him, a guy who totally thinks that the idea of God or His Son is unbelievable, to know Him, our Lord Christ Jesus!

Outreach Craziness!!

Over the past few weeks we've had sign-up tables all over campus to allow interested students to sign up for listserv emails, get info, etc. and in general allow us to share Christ with them.

Beyond our wildest expectations, 404 students have indicated that they are interested in learning more about Jesus and getting involved in a Bible study. Praise God for what He's doing!

Please also be praying for all of these students, those we already know here on campus, and people we will meet that God will just do amazing things for His name this semester!

Also please be praying that God would send us more laborers in terms of staff and student leaders because we are currently hard pressed to respond to such interest levels. God has been good and is enabling us to reach these students, but we can still use more hands to help us as we labor for Him!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Back From Blogging Break!

The break's over, I'm back from vacation, and safely moved into my new room with it's ninth floor view.

Please be praying for us as we continue reaching out to the campus over the next few weeks and months, especially in our dorms, at sign-up tables and in classes!

(P.S. Reflections posts will continue this week too!)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Internship Reflection #2: Bible study and burritos the size of your head

One night my buddy and I invited a student out to Q'doba with us for dinner. (If you have never been to Q'doba please do so soon, it's wonderful because their burritos are the size of your face and their queso sauce is wonderful)

The student up to that point had been coming to Bible study, but had been rather quiet and I was wondering how he was reacting to what we were learning in our John Bible study. As dinner went on the conversation became just excellent. It became clear that this young man has a desire to know the Scriptures and most importantly God through them. How amazing is that?

What's even more encouraging was that what was impacting him in the study was that he was being called to dig deep into the text with the rest of the group and not just scratch the surface. And that excited him to be able to dig deep and know God more through investing in knowing the Word!

Please be praying for this young man that the Lord would be raising up a young leader to follow hard after Him.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Internship Reflection #1: Evangelistic Coffee

The first 3 weeks of the internship had the interns serving on campus during Summer Session I. If you've ever been to PSU during Summer Session I, you'll know that this is probably one of the quietest times on campus when class is technically in session. There were only a few hundred students living on campus!

We interns were feeling quite like we were up a creek since with so few students and that it was so hard to find new ones that we began to struggle knowing how else to meet new students.

However one afternoon on one of those early days of the internship I went to a local coffee shop to meet with one of my roommates to take a few moments of downtime and check in to see how each other was doing. I had arrived first and grabbed a mug and took a seat to wait for my roommate to arrive. At one of the tables close to me sat a lady and we began to have some small talk while I was waiting. As the conversation progressed and she realized that I was a Christian she began sharing how she was from China, a visiting scholar and would soon be returning to China in a month. However she said that in the past month she had begun to read and study the Bible with another Christian lady to try to understand Christianity before she returned to China.

At that point my friend arrived and she then asked if we could explain "the whole Bible, even the Old Testament parts." We said that we weren't sure, but that we'd give it a try and then all of a sudden she pulled out a Bible and opened to Matthew and began to ask us questions about passages that she was confused about.

Praise the Lord for humility, because we were able to ask her questions about what she saw in the passage and helped her grasp what was the context and meaning of the different passages. To make things even more amazing her questions were not ones about what is this term or this is wrong why would you believe that, but "Why would Jesus say something like that wouldn't that make him arrogant?"

And brothers and sisters, our God is so good! As we helped her to walk through the different passages it seemed like the Holy Spirit was beginning to teach her in part what was going on in the Bible and more importantly who Jesus was! We were also able to share how we became Christians and the Gospel as well.

She didn't become a Christian there, but she was visibly eating up the Word!

Sadly we were unable to reach her again before she left soon after to return to China, but we have been praying that the Lord continued to use the Bible study that she was already in before she returned to China. Please be praying for this lady who has now returned to China that the Lord will open the eyes of her heart to understand who Jesus is and give her a heart of flesh rather than a heart of stone. Or if she has already become a Christian since I met her that He would be growing her mightily and giving her strength and courage to preach Him boldly in China especially now during the Olympics (a difficult time for Chinese Christians).

Friday, August 8, 2008

Final Talk on Hebrews 7 posted

The final talk for DCF Summer 08 on Hebrews 7 by Jason is finally posted here:


It's the end of the internship as we know it....

Currently there are about 24 hours left of the internship and that's really scary.

Overall the Lord has been so, so good through it all and I feel excited to return to campus, but also kind of melancholy about having to leave.

Over the next week or so I'd like to write a few short posts about some of the biggest parts of the internship. My goal is to have the first one up later today so hold on!

Please also be praying for our final Summer DCF meeting tonight!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Summer Audio Extravaganza!

For those of you who have been waiting in long expectation, here it is, the long awaited prize...

Audio from this summer's DCFs!

Below is a link to my webspace where the temporary location will be for these audio recordings.

The goal is that within a few weeks the PSU DCF website will be totally revamped to awesome-osity (which will include audio), but until then so you can listen to the talks from this summer I'll be hosting the files over on my space. Enjoy!

(To download, just click on the underlined title of the talk and it should down load. Or right click and select "Save file as..."

Kick Off

Well, welcome to my blog.

This is an attempt at a few things.

One I'd like it to be a place to replace my old website with it's functionality as my picture and audio hub to distribute those things to my friends and family.

However in terms of bigger vision I'd like for this in the future to be a place to share what exactly God's been doing in my life. I am eagerly looking forward to living with my buddy Justin this upcoming year starting in a few short weeks on Ninth Floor Tener Hall (Get the blog name now?)

Hopefully the Lord will bless our efforts to reach out to our neighbors and that Ninth Floor Tener will become a community where Christ is known! How cool would that be?

So be praying for us and enjoy the site!